BIO-BASED PROCESS MODELING TO ASSESS THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY OF SCALING FROM THE BENCH-TOP TO PRODUCTION READY SCALE
Biomass liquefaction is a nascent field within biorefinery research and has arisen in response to the bottleneck created from materials handling at the front end of the biorefinery. The basic concept is that if the biomass were to be converted into a flowable slurry at the front-end of the process, then the material could smoothly flow into the biorefinery pretreatment and down time due to the material forming a plug would be minimized or eliminated. Three liquefaction routes were studied in this work. These routes were: enzyme route, enzyme mimetic route, and a combined route of enzyme and enzyme mimetic. Through a Techno-economic assessment (TEA), it is possible to determine which route is most-economical to scale up and also to understand the extent to which liquefaction increases/decreases of the price of the biorefinery product.
Gasification is a bio-based technology that has recently acquired more attention as it is an efficient conversion process for a variety of feedstocks. As new techniques and process routes are discovered, it is important to analyze which process technique is feasible for commercial scale up, as the highest performing technique may not be the most economical option to pursue. Along the same philosophy, a process concept was developed on Aspen Plus® to treat syn-gas impurities and also recycle the spent solvents. A TEA study was performed to determine the unit cost of treatment and to explore avenues of cost saving.
- Doctor of Philosophy
- Environmental and Ecological Engineering
- West Lafayette